From Template-driven Modeling To Documentation

Another case study [29] documented Compendium’s use in a time-pressured initiative to conduct an enterprise-wide risk assessment for a Year 2000 Contingency Plan. In this project, as in many others, one of the most common purposes of meetings was to advance a project deliverable of some sort, in this case to generate organizational documents. Figure 5.7 illustrates how an IBIS map served first as the participatory user interface to elicit information from domain experts, after which it was then exported to a data flow diagram, and a requirements specification text.

We recognize of course that there are representational limits to this particular paradigm, and organizational obstacles to the very idea of DR capture, as reviewed in Chap. 1. We have thus sought to assist in technical integration with other forms of rationale management tool. At this point, however, we do not yet have any examples to report, and welcome approaches from groups interested in collaboration.

In conclusion, as one would expect from the broad conception of “wicked problem,” and the generic nature of IBIS as a representational scheme, Compendium is now finding application in many domains other than software engineering, but this is a virtuous circle: as the approach and infrastructure evolve to meet the challenges of new domains, they in turn provide new methodological insights (e.g., the nature of practitioner expertise; the disciplined use of templates) and practical functionality (e.g. data interoperability; modeling stencils; improved usability; document generation). Together these should assist the integration of argumentation-based rationale management with other forms of rationale, and the other tools of software engineering.

Our second extension to the worked example illustrates a recent dimension to meeting and rationale capture: Compendium integration with meeting videos. In the context of NASA mission planning [6], a multimedia Meeting Replay extension to Compendium was developed to assist the indexing and navigation of the meeting videos to assist one team’s understanding of another’s meetings, decisions, and rationale.


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